In yesterday's blog, I posted a map of a direct computer solution of the 24 hour precipitation ending at 6 PM Sunday evening. The map on the right is also a QPF, in this case ending at 6 AM Monday, but it is more of a man-machine mix as the computer solution is enhanced manually with the intent of providing a better solution than just what the computer would show. Bottom line is that we are still looking at a good chance of showers/storms on Sunday, particularly for this side of the state. Unfortunately, unless subsequent model runs change things, our neighbors in the more western counties will miss out on most of this. As was also stated yesterday, this will not be a drought breaker by any stretch, but it does at least have the promise of our best chance of some decent rain in over a month.
Between now and then, temperatures have moderated nicely this afternoon after another cold start and we will have a very pleasant evening along with clear skies and a chilly start again Thursday. Thursday will also have lots of sunshine, but look for a return to southerly winds which will become strong and gusty during the day. That will start a warming trend with highs in the 70s for Thu-Sat. Our nights will also be getting warmer after dropping into the 30s tomorrow morning, we will likely be in the lower 60s by Saturday morning.
That south wind will be howling with winds expected to be on the order of 15-25 mph Thursday and gusting over 30 and possibly near 40 mph for Fri and Sat. One more sunny day is expected on Thursday, after that the moisture will be returning and so will the clouds with mostly cloudy skies for Fri & Sat. However, a layer of warm, dry air aloft should prevent anything more than perhaps a few passing sprinkles on Saturday before the main storm system arrives on Sunday.
Keep in mind, this storm system is currently out in the Pacific Ocean and has not been sampled very well as yet. I mention that because there may be some significant changes in the forecast over the next few days as better data is ingested into the computer initial analyses. Having said that, the various guidance products have so far been remarkably consistent in bringing this system across the state Sunday and bringing some decent rains with it. The timing may change also with subsequent solutions, but right now it appears that the cold front will arrive about mid-day followed by northerly winds and falling afternoon temperatures. That will also usher in what looks to be the coolest air of the season for Monday and Tuesday.
So, still holding out the hope for some decent rainfall on Sunday. In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.